King empire

Un Ojo and King Ottoman could face Rattle N Roll in Indiana Derby

Photo: Candice Chavez/Eclipse Sportswire

A field of 10 has been drawn for the 28th edition of the 3rd year $300,000 Indiana Derby Saturday, July 9 at Horseshoe Indianapolis. The first post for the map is 12:20 p.m. EDT with an estimated post time of 6:40 p.m. EDT for the Indiana Derby.

Several horses enter the Indiana Derby after victories in their last race, including Ottoman king, winner of the $300,000 Texas Derby at Lone Star Park. Curlin’s gray son, owned by Three Chimneys Farm, has plotted post four and will team up with Horseshoe Indianapolis leader Marcelino Pedroza Jr. for the first time. The lightly raced three-year-old hails from the Steve Asmussen barn and Horseshoe Indianapolis will be his fifth career start at his fifth different racetrack.

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Rattle N Roll could be hard to beat three times in a week,” joked Asmussen, the Ottoman King’s trainer, in reference to Rattle N Roll winning the American Derby off the turf at Churchill Downs two days ago and also entered the Derby of the Iowa. “Number 4 for the Ottoman King – this is his lucky number.”

King Ottoman won the Texas Derby, his first career victory, after escaping from post four.

A horse returning to the track after a big run on the Kentucky Derby trail earlier this year is An Ojo who joined the Robertino Diodoro stable. Laoban’s one-eyed son won the million-dollar Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park this spring before suffering a bruised foot that took him out of the Kentucky Derby this year. He is returning from berth nine with David Cohen on board. Un Ojo is the richest entrant in this year’s Indiana Derby with over $782,000 in career earnings. He has one win and a second in three starts for 2022.

Rattle N Roll of the Ken McPeek stable drew pole six for the Indiana Derby. The chestnut son of Connect, a $210,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland’s September yearling sales, enters the race after winning the $200,000 American Derby at Churchill Downs. The Grade 1 winning colt, owned by Lucky Seven Stable, has three career wins in 10 starts with over $600,000 in career earnings. Brian Hernandez Jr. takes the call aboard Rattle N Roll for McPeek.

“We didn’t work it until the American Derby,” explained Ken McPeek. “We went there at a gallop. The horse did just fantastic. There are few opportunities for a horse like him. We looked at the calendar and there is no other race for him until maybe mid-August. I know it’s unconventional. I’m a little nervous about this. But we got him back up and back Sunday morning after the race. He cleaned up (ate) at 8 in the evening after running. He cleaned up the next morning. It has never been so good. We buy horses to race. It could be exciting. We will look at PP. Nothing is fixed until we send it there.

The field for the Indiana Derby, in post order with jockey, includes Trademark (Rafael Bejarano), First Glimpse (Orlando Mojica), Mowins (Jon Court), King Ottoman (Marcelino Pedroza Jr.), New Year’s Fever ( Rodney Prescott), Rattle N Roll (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Best Actor (Florent Geroux), Actuator (James Graham), Un Ojo (David Cohen) and Fowler Blue (Sonny Leon).

Before the Indiana Derby, the 27th edition of the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G3) will lead to the Derby. Eight fillies have been entered for the Oaks, slated for Race 11, including $250,000 Black Eyed winner Susan Interstatedaydream of the Brad Cox stable. The Classic Empire filly, owned by Flurry Racing Stable, has not raced since Preakness Day in mid-May, but enters the event with two wins and a second in three starts for 2022. Interstatedaydream drew the post five with Florent Geroux on board.